Croatia will become the 28th Member State of the European Union on July 1st.
What do you think of when you think about Croatia? Commissioner Damanaki thinks of maritime policy. If you want to know more, watch the video.
Commissioner Damanaki attended a high-level Seminar organised in Athens by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Entitled "Tackling the jobs crisis in Greece: Which ways forward?", this high-level seminar has been the occasion to focus on employement in the framework of the unprecedented crisis that the country and the European Union are experiencing.
Commissioner Damanaki visited the port of Piraeus and met with M. Georgios Anomeritis, President & CEO of the Port of Piraeus, in order to discuss the important role of port hubs in enhancing maritime clusters and achieving Blue Growth objectives.
Maritime economic sectors can be hampered by lack of access to financing as well as a lack of suitably skilled workers. A solution to these obstacles is the development of maritime clusters. These groups of interdependent industries, suppliers, educational and research institutes are useful to develop blue economy. They help define European maritime economy, provide high-skills and increase data-bases and mapping of the sector in order to achieve sustainable growth opportunities in marine and maritime sectors.
In its Communication on Blue Growth, the European Commission encourages Member States to support the creation of regional and cross-border maritime clusters as they can contribute to the improvement of maritime economic activity as well as to the exchange of good practices and sharing of knowledge.
Therefore, the sectorial synergies of port hubs are a good contributor to the enhancing of maritime clusters cooperation with other sectors in order to achieve blue economy objectives.
The final Environment Council of the Irish Presidency took place in Luxembourg this week. Commissioner Damanaki has joined Environment Ministers and Commissioner Potočnik over lunch to discuss the challenges ahead for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Blue and Green growth share the same objective: safeguarding environment and all living creatures in the framework of achieving good environmental status by 2020. The CFP reform brings radical changes to the way we fish and further protects fish stocks: it directly contributes to achieving good environmental status.
Furthermore, the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management proposed by both Commissioner Damanaki and Commissioner Potočnik is aiming at enhancing coordination between neighbour countries and administrations. It also is a key contributor to good environmental achievements.
Blue growth agenda and Green growth agenda are indeed overlapping and compatible, both aiming at enhancing sustainability and clean waters.
Commissioner Damanaki meets representatives of the Northern Pelagic Working Group of EU Association of Fish Producers Organisations
Commissioner Damanaki received in Brussels representatives of the Northern Pelagic Working Group of the European Association of Fish Producers Organisations.
Commissioner Damanaki met with Mr Søvndal, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ms Gjerskov, Minister of Food, Agriculture & Fisheries in Brussels.
The Bluefin Tuna purse seine season lasting from 26 May to 24 June came to an early end this year for European purse-seiners. Member States involved in this fishing activity (Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Greece) have exhausted their quotas and have therefore closed their fisheries activities: purse seiners are back to the ports.
During its last annual meeting in November 2012 ICCAT adopted a reinforced multi-annual recovery plan for Bluefin Tuna which enhances the sustainable management of the stock and introduces a number of new strict control measures: TAC have slightly been increased and as of 2013, control and traceability of Bluefin Tuna for both fishing and farming activities have been further reinforced.
Therefore, this year the quota monitoring is based on what fishing vessels declare as well as on what goes in and out Bluefin Tuna farms. The Commission services noted that new measures are being implemented and that concrete and efficient results are being recorded: Member States have taken drastic decisions to ensure a sustainable management of Bluefin Tuna stock.
Farming of Bluefin Tuna is an increasingly important economic activity that needed to be included in control policies. In parallel with quota monitoring, it is also of great importance to control caging activities to ensure that no quota is overshot.
It is very sad that this year’s campaign was marked by human tragedy. Near Sicily at least 7 migrants were killed while holding on to Bluefin Tuna cages towed by fishing vessels.
Commissioner Damanaki has met in Athens with Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Dimitris Kourkoulas. They discussed the upcoming Greek Presidency of the European Council taking place during the first semester of 2014.
Commissioner Damanaki visited Reykjavik, Iceland on Thursday and met with the newly appointed Minister Sigurður Ingi JÓHANNSSON, in charge of Fisheries and Agriculture, to discuss the mackerel issue.
Today, the Council adopted an amending regulation on the removal of fins of sharks on board vessels following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament.
This text aims to eliminate existing derogations to the ban on "shark finning".
Commissioner Damanaki commented on the adoption of this amended regulation by the Council:
"No more shark finning in Europe! I welcome the Council's decision to follow up on the Commission proposal to introduce a shark finning ban in the EU. After the Parliament endorsing this ban earlier, it needed this last step to confirm this legislation. We can say that the practice of shark finning has been banned from the EU once and for all and for good."
Commissioner Damanaki has met with Norwegian Minister Berg-Hansen in charge of Fisheries, in Brussels.
The Government of Spain visited the College of Commissioners today. In light of this official visit, Commissioner Damanaki has met with Spanish Minister Canete, in charge of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment.
Maritime affairs and fisheries
Prime Minister of Serbia, M. Ivica Dačić, paid an official visit to the European Commission. Commissioner Damanaki met with him during his official visit to Brussels.